Strong Mail Presentation Big Ten It Conf July 2009

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StrongMail presentation given to BigTen IT folks for University Advancement, on July 21, 2009

StrongMail presentation given to BigTen IT folks for University Advancement, on July 21, 2009

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  • 1. DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY USING STRONGMAIL July 2009 Presented by Christopher M. Harper Manager of Information Technology University Relations, Michigan State University charper@msu.edu (517) 355-9980 DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 1 JULY 2009
  • 2. What is StrongMail? StrongMail? g • Vendor/solution selected after an RFP process conducted by University Relations ( ) • Both on-site (installed) and hosted (off-site, managed) options were considered during RFP • During RFP decided best ROI would be with an on campus solution p DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 2 JULY 2009
  • 3. What is StrongMail? (cont’d) StrongMail? ( g ) • StrongMail as a dynamic messaging platform • Capable of sending 1 million messages per hour* hour • Dynamic message composition; no more static e-mails! • Automatic bounce management, but not j hard and g , just soft… Hard  Soft  Block Technical Unknown bounce bounce * This is why it is critical to have a Message Transfer Agent (or MTA) that gives you the ability to adhere to the sending rules the ISP’s have in place at any given moment in time. See http://www.strongmail.com/resources/blogs/it_email_infrastructure/ for more details. an gi en time http //www strongmail com/reso rces/blogs/it email infrastr ct re/ details DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 3 JULY 2009
  • 4. Okay, but where’s the need? y • University Relations (UR) at MSU in charge of sending daily, daily weekly MSU news stories to various audiences audiences, amounting to over 400,000 messages per month • UR has been doing this for 5+ years g y math: 400,000 x 12 x 5 = approx. 24 million messages to date! • Old technology beca e antiquated, O d ec o ogy became a qua ed, cumbersome for IT staff to manage (required IT to be involved to send messages, required manual replacement of li k with dynamic l l t f links ith d i equivalents to track link click through rates) DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 4 JULY 2009
  • 5. Okay, but where’s the need? (cont’d) y ( ) • UR also (in a fee-for-service model) designs, builds, sends e-mails for various departments on campus, to their alumni, e mails donors, students, etc. • Needed a self-service interface putting the “marketer” back in control (too many people outsourcing to Constant Contact, etc.) • More robust message composition platform capable of o e obus essage co pos o p a o capab e o doing more dynamically • XML, XSLT, subscriber content preferences anyone? • Ability to connect to databases external to the platform (something any other E-mail Service Provider (ESP) external to MSU won t won’t be able to do) DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 5 JULY 2009
  • 6. Task: Make MSU Weekly News dynamic y y • Migrate MSU Weekly News to a dynamic e-mail publication, publication allowing subscribers to customize their content preferences • Already had web applications written to capture subscriber preferences (in essence) • Needed to determine how the message template would interact with these preferences • Via what technology? • Transition to a new IP address on the MTA, establish new sending relationship with the internet, ISP’s DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 6 JULY 2009
  • 7. Task: Make MSU Weekly… (completed) y ( p ) • SM deployed and sending our MSU Weekly News e-mail every Friday y y y • Subscribers can customize their e-mail by including content from 13 categories of news available on www.news.msu.edu • Staff and faculty automatically opted in to receive “Staff and faculty” content (allowed for the printed staff and faculty publication MSU News Bulletin to become completely “electronic”) electronic ) DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 7 JULY 2009
  • 8. Task: Make SM available to campus p • Identify good campus candidates and make StrongMail available to them in a self-service model self service • Migrate various managed campaigns from old MTA to StrongMail • Determine any external databases that StrongMail could be connected to • Sysbase ASE Oracle MSSQL, Teradata DB2 PostgreSQL ASE, Oracle, MSSQL Teradata, DB2, PostgreSQL, mySQL UR EBSP UADV DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 8 JULY 2009
  • 9. Task: Make SM available… (on-going) ( (on-g g) • Currently 2 departments are on-board in a self-service capacity • Enterprise Business Systems Projects (EBSP) • University Advancement (UADV) DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 9 JULY 2009
  • 10. Task: Make SM available… (on-going) ( (on-g g) • Several other departments sending e-mail via UR and ultimately via StrongMail DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 10 JULY 2009
  • 11. Task: Make SM available… (on-going) ( (on-g g) DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 11 JULY 2009
  • 12. A dynamic MSU Weekly News e-mail y y e- • Database of stories that drives www.news.msu.edu subsequently drives e-mail process DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 12 JULY 2009
  • 13. A dynamic MSU Weekly News e-mail y y e- • Fields available at the time of inputting the story for the web made available to e-mail template via XML DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 13 JULY 2009
  • 14. A dynamic MSU Weekly News e-mail y y e- • The XML content is transformed by an XSL template, driven by an XSLT engine within StrongMail DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 14 JULY 2009
  • 15. A dynamic MSU Weekly News e-mail y y e- • A fundamentally different e-mail is generated for each MSU Weekly News subscriber based on their content preferences DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 15 JULY 2009
  • 16. A dynamic MSU Weekly News e-mail y y e- • So think of the possibilities… DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 16 JULY 2009
  • 17. And now… a demo! DYNAMIC CONTENT DELIVERY WITH STRONGMAIL 17 JULY 2009